DETROIT PISTONS (33-33)
at CLEVELAND CAVALIERS (43-22)
Tip-off: Tuesday, 7:05 p.m. ET
Line: Cleveland -8.0, Total: 214.5
The Pistons will be looking for their third straight win when they face the Cavaliers in Cleveland on Tuesday.
Detroit is playing some good basketball right now, as the team has now won two straight games and four of its past five. The Pistons have covered in all four of those victories and theyíll now look to make a statement with a road victory over the defending champs. The Cavaliers are in a bad way right now, as they have now lost four of their past five games. They most recently faced the Rockets in Houston and ended up losing by five as seven-point road underdogs. Cleveland was outrebounded 60-44 in that game, and the team will need to do a better job on the glass on Tuesday. Itís worth noting that Detroit has gotten the best of Cleveland this season. The Cavaliers won the first meeting between these teams 104-81 as an 8.5-point home favorite. The Pistons then won-and-covered in two straight home games against the Cavs. One trend that favors Detroit in this game is the fact that the team is 12-2 ATS when the total is between 210 and 219.5 this season. The Cavs, meanwhile, are 15-5 ATS in home games revenging a straight up loss versus an opponent as a road favorite over the past three seasons. SG Kyle Korver (Foot) is expected to miss this game for Cleveland, though. The Cavaliers will also be without PF Kevin Love (Knee) for the next few weeks.
The Pistons are finally playing the way they hoped they would before the season and C Andre Drummond (14.9 PPG, 13.9 RPG, 1.7 SPG, 1.1 BPG) is a huge reason for that. Over the past two games, Drummond is averaging 22.0 PPG and 15.5 RPG. He should be able to play that well again on Tuesday, as the Cavaliers do not have anybody with the size to really slow him down inside. PF Tobias Harris (16.4 PPG, 5.2 RPG) is another guy that could have a good game in this one. Harris has been playing very well in recent weeks, averaging 19.6 PPG and 7.6 RPG over the past five contests. He was on fire against New York last game, scoring 28 points and also grabbing seven boards. If he can play even close to that well then the Pistons will have a good shot in this one. The x-factor in this game will, however, be PG Reggie Jackson (15.1 PPG, 5.4 APG). Jackson has had a disappointing year for Detroit, but he is averaging 18.6 PPG and 5.2 APG over the past five contests. If he can hold his own in his matchup with Kyrie Irving then he will greatly help Detroit in this one.
The Cavaliers can really use a win in this one, and SF LeBron James (26.1 PPG, 8.9 APG, 8.3 RPG, 1.3 SPG) is going to do everything in his power to help his team get that victory. James has had it going offensively over the past four games, averaging 28.3 PPG, 12.5 RPG and 8.5 APG. He should flirt with posting another triple-double in this one, but he must be locked in defensively as well. If he can shut down Tobias Harris on Tuesday then the Cavaliers should win this one pretty easily. James will, however, need the help of PG Kyrie Irving (25.2 PPG, 5.9 APG, 3.4 RPG. 1.2 SPG) in this one. Irving had 28 points and eight assists in a loss to the Rockets on Sunday, but he did go just 10-for-23 from the floor and 3-for-10 from three in that one. Irving will need to be more efficient this time around or itíll be hard for the Cavaliers to win. Fortunately for Irving, he is going up against Reggie Jackson in this one. Jackson loses focus defensively more often than he should, so Irving should be able to play a very good game in this one.